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Study Reveals Exactly How You Can Make Healthy Eating Affordable

Elizabeth Gerson
mbg Contributor
By Elizabeth Gerson
mbg Contributor
Elizabeth Gerson is a former mindbodygreen intern and a student at Stanford University studying Psychology and Communication with a specialization in Health & Development.
Image by michela ravasio / Stocksy
March 7, 2019

In order to improve your overall health, a typical place to start is with your diet. Healthy food, however, gets a bad rap for its price tag. We're here to tell you this doesn't necessarily have to be the case: Healthy food can totally be affordable, and there's new research to prove it.

A study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found, on average, it cost $25 a day for a family of four to enjoy healthful meals when they used the right tactics to plan ahead. It's not like these families were munching solely on carrot sticks and kale, either: These budget-friendly meals met USDA guidelines for healthy eating, contained realistic portion sizes, and included items the families in the study actually liked to eat.

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Researchers looked at families of four in the Mechoopda Indian Tribe (MIT) community, where 88 percent of the population lives around the federal poverty line. The results were dependent on three factors.

First, planning ahead was key. Researchers found that this plan was realistic only when the menus for a two-week period were created beforehand. Second, families had access to bulk bins, and third, MIT families were able to make their healthy meal plans from bulk or general supermarkets, discount stores, or local co-ops that were all less than a 10-minute drive away for most.

Armed with tips and tricks, you can make healthy work for you even when you're on a budget, making your body and wallet very thankful.

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Elizabeth Gerson
Elizabeth Gerson
mbg Contributor

Elizabeth Gerson is a former mindbodygreen intern and a student at Stanford University studying Psychology and Communication with a specialization in Health & Development. She has also written for SFGate.com and The Stanford Daily and runs a paleo(ish) food Instagram, @healthy_lizard.